United Bank Limited

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
United Bank Limited
Company typePublic
Founded7 November 1958; 65 years ago (1958-11-07)
FounderAgha Hasan Abedi
HeadquartersKarachi-74000, Pakistan
Key people
Shazad G. Dada CEO
  • Consumer Banking
  • Commercial banking
  • Islamic Banking
  • Priority banking
  • corporate banking
  • private banking
  • asset management
RevenueIncrease Rs. 103.2 billion (US$360 million)[1] (2022)
Increase Rs. 32.06 billion (US$110 million)[1] (2022)
Total assetsIncrease Rs. 2.758 trillion (US$9.6 billion)[1] (2022)
Number of employees
13,722[1] (2022)
ParentBestway Group (61.48%)

General Public & Others (29.99%)

Murabahas & Mutual Funds (3.32%)

Banks, DFIs & NBFIs (2.24%)

Insurance Companies (2.90%)

International GDRs (non-voting shares) (0.07%)[2]

United Bank Limited (UBL) (یونائیٹڈ بینک لمیٹڈ) is a Pakistani multinational commercial bank which is based in Karachi, Pakistan.

For the year 2020, UBL was designated domestic systemically important bank (D-SIB) by the State Bank of Pakistan.[3]

It is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Its largest shareholder is the British investment company Bestway Group who own 61.48% of the business.


UBL Headquarters at night
UBL street view

Agha Hasan Abedi founded the bank in November 1958 and it became the second largest bank in Pakistan. In 1974, the Government of Pakistan nationalized the bank. This, in turn, led to Agha Hasan Abedi founding the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

In 2002, the Government of Pakistan sold 51% of its shares of the bank[4] to a consortium of Abu Dhabi Group and Bestway. Also, the bank merged its operations in the United Kingdom with those belonging to National Bank of Pakistan to form United National Bank Limited. United Bank owns 55% of the joint-venture and National Bank of Pakistan owns the remainder.

In August 2003, UBL launched Pakistan's first derivative money market product.[5]

In February 2005 UBL became the first bank in South Asia to launch the EMV enabled credit card. In June 2005 with the launch of "UBL Money", a fixed instalment personal loan product, UBL became the only bank in Pakistan to provide a complete suite of consumer financing products. In August 2005 UBL became the first bank to achieve the "Authorised Derivatives Dealer" status in Pakistan – the only domestic bank to achieve this status.[5]

In June 2007 the Global Depository Receipts of UBL were listed on the London Stock Exchange. The offering targeted institutional investors and raised in excess of US$650 million.[6] UBL is the only Pakistani bank and one of the only two Pakistani companies that are listed on the London Stock Exchange.[7]

In April 2010, UBL launched UBL Omni,[8] an in-house developed project designed to provide banking facilities to the unbanked population of Pakistan. As of June 2014 UBL Omni had a customer base in excess of 6.8 million, with over 1.5 million active cards in issue and 5 million monthly transactions valued at over US$253 million.[9] Through the success of UBL Omni 1.55 million previously unbanked individuals have opened mobile bank accounts with UBL in Pakistan.[9] Today, Omni Dukaan network has grown to 42,100 agents in Pakistan.[10]

In January 2011, Bestway Group increased its shareholding in UBL[11] to 51.07% by acquiring an additional 20% of the shares from the Abu Dhabi Group.[12] This was a total investment of US$230.0 million in Pakistan's second largest private commercial bank.[13][14]

The Bank added 200 branches in 2011 and 2012, thus increasing its domestic network to over 1,300 online branches[15] with 800 ATMs.

In June 2012, UBL led a consortium which acquired a 67.4% stake in Khushhali Bank, which is the largest micro-finance institution in Pakistan.[16]

In December 2013, the Bestway Group increased its shareholding in UBL to 61.37% by acquiring an additional 10.3% of the shares from the Abu Dhabi Group.[17] Through an investment of over $120 million, the Bestway Group acquired the entire shareholding of its former joint venture partner the Abu Dhabi Group.[18]

In June 2014, the Government of Pakistan sold its remaining 19.8% stake in UBL for US$387 million ($310m of which was in foreign exchange). This was Pakistan's first transaction in the global equity market in almost eight years.[19][20]

In November 2018, UBL announced that it was voluntarily shutting down its New York City branch due to it being commercially nonviable to operate.[21]

UBL announced on 12 June 2021 that it was winding up its wholly owned Switzerland subsidiary, UBL (Switzerland) AG, which it had owned since 1967.[22] The process completed on 2 June 2023.[23]

UBL announced on 12 September 2023 that its largest shareholder, Bestway Group, had submitted an "Indicative Offer" to acquire UBL's 55% shareholding in its United Kingdom joint venture with the National Bank of Pakistan, United National Bank Limited "UNBL UK". This was approved by the Board of Directors of UBL but is conditional on the approval of the State Bank of Pakistan.[24][25]


United Bank profit during 1HCY20 stood at Rs10.9 billion.[26]


Map depicting worldwide operations of United Bank (Pakistan). Highlighted countries have branches, subsidiaries and/or representative offices of the bank. Pakistan is highlighted in dark green for reference.

Current operations[edit]

Today, UBL is the largest bank in the private sector in Pakistan and has over 1,390 branches nationwide, 18 overseas branches, a significant presence throughout the Middle East, and representative offices in Beijing and Kazakhstan.

Former operations[edit]

UBL formerly used to have subsidiaries in the United Kingdom and Switzerland and a branch in New York.

Awards and honors[edit]

In May 2016, UBL was adjudged ‘Best Bank 2016’ at the first Pakistan Banking Awards[27] held under the auspices of the Institute of Bankers Pakistan. The ‘Best Bank’ category recognizes a bank that has demonstrated the most significant contribution to national development and the most effective management of its resources including its employees, clients, franchise, community, and financials.

Also in 2016, JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) has upgraded the entity ratings of United Bank Limited (UBL) to ‘AAA/A-1+’ (Triple A/A-One Plus).[28] The year also saw the UBL Facebook page exceeding 1 Million likes,[29] making it the first Pakistani bank to cross a million fans on Facebook. The achievement reinforces its reputation as a Progressive and Innovative bank.

UBL has become the only bank to win the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) “Top Companies of the Year” Award for three consecutive years (2016-18). The awards for the three years, were presented at a ceremony held in Karachi recently. The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan, who was the Chief Guest at the event, gave away the awards. Ms. Sima Kamil, former President and CEO UBL, received the awards from the Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan, on behalf of the Bank.[30]


United Bank was named in the FinCEN Files, published by BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). It had eight suspicious transactions from 2011 to 2012 flagged, totaling to $399,620.[31]

Other subsidiaries[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "UBL Annual Report 2021" (PDF). UBLDigital. Retrieved 24 October 2023.
  2. ^ "Annual report 2021" (PDF). ubldigital.com.
  3. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (2020-09-04). "HBL, NBP, UBL declared important banks". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  4. ^ "Pakistan to raise $387 m by selling UBL". The Express Tribune.
  5. ^ a b "Treasury & Capital Markets". Ubldirect.com. United Bank Limited. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  6. ^ "UBL's GDR gets $650 million". Daily Times. 4 March 2016. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  7. ^ "MCB Bank delists from London Stock Exchange". The Express Tribune. 2 June 2017.
  8. ^ "UBL Omni identified as "sprinter" in global survey". Pakistantoday.com.pk. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  9. ^ a b "Bestway Foundation :: Bestway Group". Bestwaygroup.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  10. ^ "About Us". Ubldirect.com. United Bank Limited. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  11. ^ "Abu Dhabi sells 20% UBL stake". Emirates 24-7. 28 January 2011.
  12. ^ "Bestway Group Invests $230 Million in United Bank Limited". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  13. ^ "Bestway Group Invests $230 Million in United Bank Limited". Pakistan Company News. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  14. ^ Bestway Group (26 January 2011). "Bestway Group Invests $230 Million in United Bank Limited" (Press release). Retrieved 2015-12-15 – via PR Newswire.
  15. ^ "UBL Branch Locator". Ubldirect.com. United Bank Limited. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  16. ^ "MicroNOTE 20 - Unlocking Synergies - VERSION 3.ai" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  17. ^ "Bestway takes control of Pakistan banking arm UBL". TheGrocer.co.uk.
  18. ^ "Bestway Group Invests Over $120 Million In United Bank Limited". ABestwaygroup.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  19. ^ "Approval: Deal sealed to sell govt's remaining UBL stake". The Express Tribune. 13 June 2014.
  20. ^ "Allied Bank's privatisation". Dawn.
  21. ^ "UBL to voluntarily shut down its New York branch". The Express Tribune.
  22. ^ Report, Profit (2021-06-27). "UBL discards its little known Swiss subsidiary". PT Profit. Retrieved 2023-09-29.
  23. ^ "Switzerland". UBL. 2023-06-02. Retrieved 2023-09-29.
  24. ^ "Establishment of Exchange Company and Divestment". Investegate. 2023-09-12.
  25. ^ Zaidi, Erum (2023-09-13). "UBL to set up exchange company, sell UK subsidiary to Bestway Group". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2023-09-29.
  26. ^ Reporter, The Newspaper's Staff (2020-08-07). "United Bank earns Rs10.9bn". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  27. ^ "UBL adjudged best at first Pakistan Banking Awards". DAWN.COM. May 15, 2016.
  28. ^ "UBL ratings upgraded". www.thenews.com.pk.
  29. ^ "UBL among world top Facebook pages for banks".
  30. ^ "UBL wins PSX Award for three consecutive years". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2020-07-21.
  31. ^ Report, Monitoring (2020-09-21). "Six Pakistani banks named in FinCEN leak". Profit by Pakistan Today. Retrieved 2020-09-23.

External links[edit]